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JEDI contract might be no more, but case should live on, says Oracle: DoD only wants Amazon, Microsoft for new cloud deal

Just when you thought it was safe to get out of the courtroom

Oracle has asked the US Supreme court not to dismiss its case over the $10bn Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract, despite the US Department of Defense officially axing the $10bn procurement deal.

"Cases do not become moot simply because a defendant issues a press release claiming to have ceased its misconduct," thundered Oracle in a supplemental brief [PDF] in its action against the DoD, Oracle America, Inc. vs United States, et al, filed last week.

"The government asserts that the Department of Defense mooted this case by cancelling JEDI, the procurement contract that Oracle has challenged," complained Big Red.

"But in the next breath, the Department states its intent to replace JEDI with another similar cloud-computing contract; to presumptively award the contract to Microsoft and respondent Amazon Web Services as the 'only' eligible competitors; and to exclude other bidders based on infected research and requirements drawn directly from the challenged procurement.

"Far from making it 'absolutely clear' that the challenged misconduct will not recur, the Department essentially admits the challenged misconduct will continue – and will continue to prejudice Oracle."

Oracle and Amazon had both protested the original JEDI contract, first floated in 2018 and awarded to Microsoft in October 2019, sparking off over a year of more litigation from the cloud giants. Oracle's complaints included gripes over the deal's single-source award structure and conflicts of interest. JEDI was cancelled in July this year and replaced by another cloud-computing contract, called the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC).

For the new JWCC tender, Oracle said in this week's filing, citing a press release issued by the DoD on 6 July, the Department of Defense has limited the sources for proposals to Microsoft and Amazon Web Services.

"Despite publicly stating its expectation that only Amazon and Microsoft would satisfy the requirements for JWCC," Oracle's lawyers went on, "the Department of Defense did not reveal what those requirements would be."

So here we are again.

"The Department of Defense has announced that the JWCC, unlike JEDI, could involve 'multiple' awards," the database vendor added. "But the Department has already indicated that it 'anticipates awarding two [such] contracts – one to Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) and one to Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft)."

And thus Oracle once again has found itself left out of the cloud party.

The Register has contacted Microsoft, Amazon and the DoD for their thoughts on Oracle's move and will update with any responses. In the meantime it appears that, once again, the lawyers have been unleashed. ®

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